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Iranian Foreign Minister Says Russia, China Oppose Sanctions, Military Action


Iran's foreign minister says Russia and China have assured him they will oppose sanctions against Tehran over its nuclear program.

Manouchehr Mottaki told Iran's Kayhan newspaper diplomats from the two countries are against economic sanctions and military action. A commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guard says Israel would be Iran's first target in response to any U.S. attack.

In Paris Tuesday, officials from Russia, China and the other permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany met on Iran.

Britain and France are expected to introduce a Security Council resolution later this week to pressure Iran to comply with international demands to abandon sensitive nuclear work.

In other developments, the head of Iran's atomic energy agency, Gholam Reza Aghazadeh, says his country has enriched uranium up to 4.8 percent purity. He says Iran has no plans to enrich beyond five percent - a fraction of the more than 80 percent purity needed to make nuclear weapons.

Iran called on the United Nations Monday to stop the United States from making what Tehran perceives as threats of a military attack against its nuclear program.

President Bush has said he prefers a diplomatic solution to the controversy, but has not ruled out military action.

The United States and other countries accuse Iran of trying to develop a nuclear weapon - a charge Tehran denies.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.
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